Published: Monday, 19 August 2019 18:20
Written by Don Goulding
Watch out for false prophets, who come to you in sheepʼs clothing but inwardly are voracious wolves. (Matthew 7:15)
Yellow eyed wolves stalked a flock of sheep, measuring each animal’s weaknesses. Converging on their chosen victim, they made a show of curling their lips and growling just out of reach of the ram’s lowered horns. It was a ploy of distraction. The real killer stealthily crept behind, pounced on the haunches, and pulled the sheep down.
I met a sweet, gray haired grandmother who practiced the blackest of treacheries. Her victim was a dear friend of mine named Ann. Near the end of life, Ann became a follower of Christ. This supposed friend tried to drag sister Ann into heresy. She was sly. She never mentioned Satan or spoke against Jesus but painted him as one of many friendly spirits they could call upon. With candles, crystals and chants she invoked her spirit guides. This was a faith wolf.
Faith wolves stalk those with a weak or deformed knowledge of Christ. While the majority of the pack howls about atheism, the real killer sneaks up behind with false teachings about Jesus. The devils behind these lies know that missing faith and misapplied faith have the same result—eternal separation from God.
Having faith is not enough. It must be a sincere faith based on the real Jesus. Thankfully, we’re not abandoned to the human conjectures that are so rife in the world. The Bible objectively records the advent of Christ, while the resurrection validates his authority to save. To know the real Jesus, we have only to examine Scripture.
The ordeal served to refine sister Ann’s faith. She realized her one hope against faith wolves was to hide behind the true Shepherd defined in the Bible. She rejected the sorceress, told her never to return, and wrote a homily to be read at her own funeral. Her powerful message convinced at least two others to follow Ann into paradise through the real Jesus.
Prayer: Strong Shepherd, protect me as I dedicate myself to knowing you.
Published: Monday, 12 August 2019 17:42
Written by Don Goulding
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)
I was sick. Sin festered in my condemnation which threatened my whole being. Cancerous tumors grew on the inflamed organ and spread inoperable tendrils of darkness. The second death was near—spiritual death spent in eternal agonies separated from my Creator.
Jesus volunteered to perform a radical surgery—a condemnectomy. I agreed and he took out my organ of guilt and tossed it on the rubbish heap. I no longer have the nasty condemnation that collected every mistake and kept them inside me. It was all removed with one skilled incision.
Now when I sin, it passes right through. There is no place for it to stick as a permanent part of my being. Past and future mistakes don’t affect me, not anymore. I don’t even have an organ of guilt, a place where somebody could point and make accusations.
I still make bad choices but, thanks to my condemnectomy, I no longer have to brood over my mistakes. I confess and move on to doing things right. My whole life focus has shifted. There’s no longer a list of rules to follow in an effort to prove myself acceptable. Instead, I live according to love.
I tell all who will listen about my operation. I explain exactly where they can have their condemnation removed and how the surgeon himself will pay all the bills. It’s an elective procedure that I beg everybody to undergo because a radical condemnectomy is the only procedure effective against the second death.
Prayer: Blessed Jesus, thank you for removing every accusation.
Published: Monday, 05 August 2019 03:54
Written by Don Goulding
Then he said to them, “Therefore every expert in the law who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his treasure what is new and old.” (Matthew 13:52)
The house was shaped like a slice of pie, with the far end fanning out wider than the narrow entrance. There were practical chairs, tidy library shelves and huddles of people chatting. I selected a few books to read by the fire. They were good literary works, plain, but brilliantly true. Conversing with the other occupants made for earnest dialogue but I noticed a door at the rear.
Amazing. The exit led to an identical but much larger room. The wedge shaped arrangement continued from where the widest rear wall of the previous room left off. It was breathtaking. The fireplace and bookshelves were in the same place and the decor and furnishings were exquisite. The books contained delightful new discoveries stirred together with familiar facts from the previous room. Discussions buzzed with passion. As stimulating as this room was, there was another door.
Incredible. The next room was of the same expanding shape yet so majestic the others fell out of memory. I could scarcely add anything to the animated talk. I wished I had studied longer in the prior rooms. The people were both wonderful and humble. My mind reeled, how many rooms were there and what grandeur might they hold?
Such has been my adventure of learning about the character of God. I began simply, then his beauty quickly outpaced my grasp. At each level, the Bible, and godly books and conversations helped me grapple with his splendor around me.
God calls me ever further beyond and deeper in. His rooms are as exponential in their expansion as they are unending in their number.
Prayer: Wondrous God, I thrill at what I’ve learned and have yet to learn about you.